Skip to main content

See also:

There has been a breakdown in U.S.-Russian space cooperation

Joel Kowsky/NASA via Getty Images
Joel Kowsky/NASA via Getty Images
The Soyuz TMA-12M spacecraft sits on the launch pad after being erected at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Relations between the United States and Russia have been deteriorating in the aftermath of Russia's invasion and annexation of Crimea. The Moscow Times reported on April 3, 2014 that U.S.-Russian space cooperation has now been halted. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration has been added to the U.S. list of entities which are forbidden from cooperating with Russian agencies.

Russian experts have been downplaying the impact of these new sanctions by the United States. Andrei Klimov, first deputy head of the Russian Federation Council's International Affairs Committee, has said, "We already have not had significant cooperation with the U.S. except for issues of missile and defense security." Dmitry Suslov, deputy director of the Center for Complex European and International Studies at the Higher School of Economics, has said that with the exception of cooperation on Afghanistan, Russia and the U.S. "have not seen really advanced cooperation." Suslov therefore feels the new sanctions "will have no tangible impact on Russia's security in the short term."

RT News has reported there have been regrets by Russia regarding NASA halting cooperation. Nevertheless, at this time the suspension of joint cooperation will not affect NASA and Roscosmos joint work “to maintain the safe and continuous operation of the International Space Station.” There are presently three Russians, two Americans, and one Japanese astronaut onboard the International Space Station. The present Cold War era tense relations between the United States and Russia are clearly not in the best interests of peace on the planet and all initiatives should therefore be taken by both countries to resume normal relations as soon as possible.